John T. Willet, the 22-year-old Buffalo man suing the city and Buffalo Police for $500,000 for allegedly being beaten by a city police officer in mid-April, was taken from Buffalo City Court in handcuffs Wednesday after City Judge Amy C. Martoche ordered him to spend up to six months in jail on a drug charge.
Willet pleaded guilty May 28 to a reduced misdemeanor drug possession charge and unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the case.
Phillip Dabney Jr., the attorney handling Willet’s civil suit over the April 19 incident at Philadelphia and Ontario streets, was quoted in the court record as telling the judge Willet has taken ownership of his actions.
Willet told the judge he felt he was just in the wrong situation.
Martoche cited Willet’s prior criminal record and told him she hopes he can get on the right path after jail, according to the court record. Court officials said Willet could be released in just under four months if he behaves at the Erie County Correctional Facility because of the state’s good-time sentencing laws.
John A. Cirelli, 31, the former Buffalo police officer who hit and kicked Willet during the Riverside area incident, resigned from the force last month.